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Thread: ZG Helios 5 weight

  1. #11

    Default Re: ZG Helios 5 weight

    The original H and the newer H2 are entirely different in their tapers...different designer in fact. Funny though; I have cast a bunch of both from #4 to #9 and fond none of them wanted to be over lined at all. OK, maybe for very short shots but that is not the Helios design intent. I do believe some of the H2's are amongst the best rods Orvis has built since their heyday in the mid 80's.

  2. #12

    Default Re: ZG Helios 5 weight

    Quote Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
    The original H and the newer H2 are entirely different in their tapers...different designer in fact. the H2's are amongst the best rods Orvis has built since their heyday in the mid 80's.

    I purchased a Helios when they first came out. Big advertisement, they were called "the fly rod of a generation"!

    The lightest rod in the world (even lighter than the Sage One). As soon as I purchased the rod, some were already saying "Orvis will change it a bit in a couple years to get you to buy the "new flyrod of a generation" LOL and some have said "Rick, you just have to have the newest fly rod when you catch those little bluegills .... the marketing guys target you every time!"

    The taper is exactly the same, just a different color. The cork is the same, and the handle is slightly changed. Every rod is exactly the same weight ..... still the lightest rod in the world.

    BTW, I like the olive green of the original Helios better. I already snapped the tip off and Orvis fixed with a new top section (two weeks and $30). If I break it again, I suppose Orvis will send me a H2 replacement rod, since they don't make the original anymore?

    It's all advertising hype to get you and me to spend $800 for another new rod?

  3. #13

    Default Re: ZG Helios 5 weight

    and...............................the OP has left the building

    Oh well, I learned a lot from this thread.


    Tight lines,


  4. #14

    Default Re: ZG Helios 5 weight

    Between either your existing 5wt line or your 6wt line you've already got the right line for the rod.

    This rod may just be too of a fast-action rod for your personal preference. (despite being mid-flex, it's much stiffer than something like an Orvis Superfine).

    So just know that either you should get used to the rod, or just recognize that it doesn't fit your preferences.

    Of course it's possible that either the rod or line(s) are mislabeled and you could/should ask Orvis about how to figure that out, but otherwise this sounds like a case of the rod not being a good match for you. It happens.

  5. Default Re: ZG Helios 5 weight

    Thanks guys for the input. I am new to fly fishing, this is my first rod I have ever bought! I have been practicing casting for awhile now but I know I need a lot more time with the rod to understand the proper way to cast. I am going off of my friends advice who is an avid fly fisherman for many years and is well up to date on the newer rods. He seemed to think the rod did not load properly with the 5 weight line on it. I understand everyone casts differently and it really is up to each individual as to how the rod feels. I think I just need a lot more lawn cast time!

  6. #16

    Default Re: ZG Helios 5 weight


    Try a few things when you get a chance.

    1. First off, holding the rod almost straight up at perhaps a 15 degree angle past your shoulder behind you, your upper arm tight to your body, and have your friend slowly pull at the line from maybe 15 yards away. Watch how the rod bends and feel it in your hand. Have him do this a few times.

    2. Next, have him just stand there and from the same position, now you pull and just feel how the rod seems to change.

    3. At this point, try something that may seem silly. Keep the rod as close to perfectly inline with your forearm as is possible. If need be even loosely wrap/tie the butt of the fly rod to your wrist...Holding the rod like that straight up is 12:00 o'clock......Now, with 15yds. of line out in front of you on the ground, your rod pointing at its far end (8:00 o'clock), pinching the line tight to the rod........quickly come back as though casting yet ONLY let your arm move by bending at the elbow, your upper arm tight to your body. As soon as your forearm meets your bicep stop, the rod roughly at 15 degrees behind you (2:00 o'clock), and feel the line as it pulls at the rod as it runs out behind you.

    4. Do the above a couple times and when you feel ready, when you begin to feel the rod pull from the weight of the line behind you, only bending at the elbow point back to that 8:00 position.....So, 8:00 to 2:00 to 8:00 stop......If the line ends back up where it started.....Welp, you're casting a fly rod.

    5. Once you now recognize that feeling, play with it......Again, rod inline with your forearm, just moving your elbow going from 8:00 to 2:00 to 8:00 stop....try pointing to new spots on the ground in front of you by pivoting from side to side.

    6. Now, try that again, yet instead of going back to 8:00 and stopping, only pivot your elbow to say 10:00 and stop. When you feel the line load the rod in front of you like behind, pull it back to 2:00, back to 10:00, back to 2:00 always feeling for that line to pull at the rod before moving the other way.

    7. Finally, release the line where you are pinching it to the rod, and instead hold it with your other hands fingertips.....Do all the same from item 4-6 yet now loosen up some......Just always stay aware that when pulling the rod back you never want it to go much past that 15 degrees past straight up. You'll also feel that line pull with your other hand even clearer.......Loosen up more and more, and just play with it.

    See where that gets you......In just 15 minutes you can cast a fly rod (or buy insurance from a stupid lizard).

    Last edited by GrtLksMarlin; 04-17-2014 at 10:27 AM.

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  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Southeast Idaho

    Default Re: ZG Helios 5 weight

    Another thing you can do is measure the flex of the rod. A little math involved, but not hard. A short tutorial on this is at:

    He uses washers. You can use them or I have found loose change in a baggy to work well.

    Several of my rods from different manufactures are not actually the weight what is printed on the rod.

    I have two 4wts that are actually 3wts. One 3wt that is more of a 4. And a 5wt that is a 6-7. They do work better with the line that is more what they measure. The only exception to that is when I want to overline in the wind.

  8. #18

    Default Re: ZG Helios 5 weight

    Two points; please take a casting lesson and bring both lines with you. Sometimes a local TU or FFF club features a spring tune-up you can attend.

    Regarding Rick's marketing dilemma; Orvis experienced a higher breakage % than anticipated...especially in the tip sections of original Helios. Also, there were observations, particularly among larger line size users, of inadequate reserve power in many of the tapers butt sections. Both of these issues were addressed in H2 by a new designer they brought in. Helios rods, 1 and 2, are not fast rods. The mid-flex is distinctly medium...not slow like full flexing Orvis rods but medium and the tip-flex tend toward medium fast. A poor comparison but an H2 #5 tip-flex cast beside a similar sized ONE has far more tip travel and observably slower recovery. A nice rod though with plenty of new found power.

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